The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Suffering For Doing Good

"Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. 'Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened' " (1 Pet.3:13-14).

In today's verses, Peter quotes from Psalm 34:12-13. I guess the big question here is this; If blessings are the lot of Christians, peace follows his steps and if the eyes of the Lord are upon him, just what is this suffering thing all about? Wouldn't one think that suffering nullifies the Christian blessing? Back in 1 Pet.1:6, he has already explained that his readers can expect to be distressed with trials, so it is now explanation time... There is an area of "overlap" that exists between the goals of Christians and of non-Christians. Lets face the facts here... All folks, regardless of their religious persuasion expect protection from lawlessness, and to enjoy the fruits of their labor. On the Christian side, we contribute to the world's peace through submission. Our goals are to respect the laws of the land, labor with a good spirit and build strong families. When a Christian submits to the laws of the land and live in subjection to Christ and do good, they "silence the ignorant talk of foolish men." (1 Pet.2:15). In the 1st of today's verses, Peter asks the rhetorical question, Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? No one, of course! This being said, Peter knows that this is not the entire story.... Situations may arise where those who claim Christ as Lord will have to suffer because they choose righteousness. They and we must be prepared for those times... Later (1 Pet.4:12) he says not to be surprised at the fiery trial which is to try you... He echoes the words of the prophet Isaiah 8:12... And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it... Here's the kicker... We are to hold up the holiness of God through our good conduct! As they see this good behavior, they may ask where it comes from, so Peter gives us the sage advice of verse 15... "Always be ready to give an answer for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a good conscience." Why? "so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander...." As we allow our gentleness and reverence for the Lord to be apparent to all and we should suffer for it, know that we have suffered for doing what was right and not for doing wrong....

Have a great day... Make your little part of the world better.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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